A retired Boise police captain – one of several officers who have made allegations about former Chief Ryan Lee – was due to speak at a conference this weekend hosted by an organization known for its opinions white supremacists.
Matthew Bryngelson, who retired in August after nearly 24 years with the Boise Police Department, appeared on the American Renaissance Conference’s list of speakers under the apparent pseudonym of Daniel Vinyard.
American Renaissance is a website and former print magazine that founder Jared Taylor calls “race realist.” Posts on the site focus on white superiority and arguments that people of color are inherently less intelligent than white people and contribute more to crime and other societal ills.
The conference was held in person in Burns, Tennessee, where local religious leaders denounced the gathering.
Blog posts that appear to be written by Bryngelson include him recounting the time in his career in policing when he “became aware of violent black tendencies.” Bryngelson did not return a phone call or text message from the Idaho statesman.
It comes nearly two months after Boise Mayor Lauren McLean asked Lee to resign in light of multiple complaints from officers, as well as an investigation into allegations that Lee injured a junior officer during of a neck restraint event last year. Lee is Chinese-American.
Bryngelson’s involvement in the conference sparked a backlash online, when Twitter user Molly Conger posted a topic Saturday depicting the list of speakers and other links to the American Renaissance. The thread, which garnered more than 1,000 retweets and 4,000 likes, drew the Idaho statesman’s attention to Bryngelson’s involvement with the white supremacist group.
On the conference’s webpage, he is described as “a down-to-earth retired police officer with 30 years of experience, including gang enforcement, SWAT, and narcotics detective.” An accompanying photo of Bryngelson, who appears to be wearing his Boise Police Department uniform, can be found on the webpage. From a tweet his photo appeared blacked out when the conference was first announced before his retirement.
In a statement Sunday afternoon, Boise Mayor Lauren McLean called Bryngelson’s attendance at the conference and her contributions to the American Renaissance “racist and dehumanizing propaganda.”
“The fact that someone like this could serve in the department for two decades is appalling,” McLean said. “The people of Boise deserve a police department worthy of their investment and trust, and we are launching a full investigation accordingly.”
McLean asked any Boise resident with concerns or information to contact his office at 208-972-8520 or by email at [email protected] She also said more information would be available in the coming days.
JThe statesman confirmed Bryngelson’s involvement in the conference from an official who knows him, and confirmed that he is Vinyard by viewing a video in which he calls himself that.
Bryngelson appeared on the white supremacy website before his retirement
Bryngelson appears to have been affiliated with American Renaissance prior to his retirement from the Boise Police Department. In a video on the band’s website, Bryngelson is introduced as Daniel Vinyard, a name shared by a neo-Nazi skinhead in the 1998 film “American History X.”
In the hour-long video, posted in September but dated May 8, Bryngelson is interviewed by Taylor. At the start of the video, Taylor states how unusual it is to speak to an “acting” or “on duty” police officer.
Bryngelson tells Taylor stories of his career and his interactions with black people, whom he characterizes as criminals whose crimes “the sane human mind cannot even comprehend…let alone execute.”
“It’s a strong speech,” replies Taylor.
At one point, Bryngelson uses a transphobic slur to describe someone.
The men later discuss cases of black men being killed by police – including Michael Brown and George Floyd – and argue that those killings would not have happened had black people complied with police.
Bryngelson laments that the public image of the police has led to difficulties in hiring and retaining officers. It’s also the subject of his talk at the conference, titled “Police Libel and What It Means for America.”
Two blog posts appear on the American Renaissance website under the pseudonym Vinyard. The first, posted on June 14, 2021, describes the author as a sheriff’s deputy in the Northeast, although in the following post and video, Vinyard indicates that he works in the Northwest.
The initial blog is titled “Can a White Cop Be a Victim of Microaggressions?” Microaggression is a term used to refer to everyday incidents of discrimination.
The post is about two city council members who the author says ignored him to “make do” on a black lieutenant.
The second article, published July 31, 2021, details Vinyard’s “career as a white police officer.” The experiences mirror the story Bryngelson shared with Taylor in the video.
The author describes growing up and starting his career in Southern California before moving to a predominantly white Northwest town 22 years ago.
“I chose the location because it was overwhelmingly white,” the author said, adding that the “overwhelming majority” of officers who moved “came to escape black violence and raise their children in an area where they will not be subject to “diversity”. ‘ in schools and violence in their neighborhoods. The Boise Police Department is 92.2% white, which is relatively reflective of an 88% white city.
The author called black people and other people of color violent drug addicts with a propensity for crime. The author claimed that black police officers, including those in the North West agency, were underachievers whose white counterparts ranked above them.
Emails and interview detail tensions with Lee
Bryngelson retired from the Boise Police Department in August, alleging he “physically couldn’t do it anymore,” according to KTVB, which originally published an article publicizing the complaints against Lee.
“I was torn because I was so dedicated to the city and the community and the approximately 110 officers I captained,” Bryngelson told KTVB. “But I couldn’t do it physically anymore. It was ruining my life. »
Between February and April, nine Boise police officers met with Office of Police Accountability Director Jesus Jara about the allegations against Lee.
The complaints alleged that Lee retaliated against officers, made derogatory comments about residents, and provided “substandard training” to the department.
A Boise police employee, in a Feb. 4 email to human resources, alleged that Lee was “abusive and unprofessional” toward Bryngelson, who also alleged that Lee called him “stupid” or “dumb”.
The emails about the allegations were provided to the statesman by a source after reporters were unable to obtain them through the city’s public registration process. City Hall denied the statesman’s request for documents regarding documents related to the allegations on September 15 and 23.
Bryngelson reportedly had a mental health crisis in September 2021 and was described by the employee as being “manic” and in a “suicidal state”.
“It was obvious to me that Captain Bryngelson would kill himself if I didn’t put him under mind control,” the employee wrote in an email to human resources in February.
That same email alleged that an officer overheard Lee calling Boise citizens “hucklebucks” and “racists.” The email also alleged that Lee called Boise State University “a racist institution.”
It comes after a lawsuit was filed against the city by former Boise Internal Affairs captain Tom Fleming, who alleged he had been the victim of discrimination and retaliation at the hands of Lee.
“I’ll tell you categorically that I wasn’t involved in that,” Fleming told the Statesman by phone Sunday of Bryngelson. He declined to comment further.
The statesman expected to speak with Bryngelson and Fleming in late September after the KTVB article was published, but they later backed down after retaining a lawyer.
Bryngelson was the host of the Boise Police Department’s weekly “BPD Beat” podcast from Jan. 14 to Aug. 4. He has interviewed other officers, civilians and community members on the podcast, with episodes ranging from Boise Police support for LGBTQ Pride events to the department’s liaison with the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.
This story was originally published November 20, 2022 4:06 p.m.